Every time you fill a prescription, you are given a brand new pill bottle. With nearly 4 billion prescriptions written each year, that creates a lot of plastic waste. Responsible disposal of your bottles can have a huge impact. Recycling reduces water usage, greenhouse gasses, and other harmful pollutants.
Recycling your bottles may not be as easy as tossing them into the recycling bin. In most areas, you cannot recycle pill bottles yourself. This article discusses the issue and provides you with solutions to reduce plastic waste and safely dispose of your prescription pill bottles.
The Problem with Pill Bottles
Prescription pill bottles are generally made of orange plastic, called polypropylene. Polypropylene is a commonly used plastic with the resin code #5. The issue with #5 plastic is that many recycling services do not accept it. This type of plastic is particularly hard and heat resistant, making it difficult to recycle.
Another issue with recycling pill bottles is their size. Many recycling centers use a trommel to sort recycled materials. A trommel is a cylindrical screen that rotates to remove contaminates from the recycling stream. Small items like pill bottles fall through the holes and are thrown away.
To make sure that your pill bottles are actually recycled, you will need to find a recycling provider that specializes in handling pill bottles, #5 plastic, and small items.
Pill bottle recycling programs keep your bottles out of landfills and protect you with additional services. Medical Waste Pros partners with recycling companies that wash, shred, and recycle your bottles.
The washing process uses heat and water to remove drug residue that remains in your bottles. Prescription labels include protected health information (PHI) including your name, address, and Rx number. Thieves can gain access to and steal your medical records using PHI. Shredding destroys your information and prepares the plastic for reuse.
How to Recycle Pill Bottles
Medical Waste Pros offer pick up, drop off, and mailback services; depending on your location. Once you have selected a service, remove any leftover medication and dispose of it according to FDA guidelines. For extra safety, you should remove the label or scratch out your information with a permanent marker.
Check with your provider to make sure they accept plastic bottle caps. Some providers make ask you to separate the caps, while others may prefer them left on. Drop off your bottles or fill a box for mailback or pickup. Your bottles will then be safely recycled.
Find Pill Bottle Recycling Services Near You
Medical Waste Pros is here to help you find pill bottle recycling services in your area. Give us a call at (888) 755-6370 or fill out the form to connect with providers near you. You will receive free quotes within minutes. Our medical waste disposal options are excellent for homes, businesses, and medical providers. We look forward to recycling with you.